June 10, 2011

Coming home

Its funny how quickly I get back into the groove here in 'Uiha, almost like no time passed.  See, I just came back home after being abroad for two plus months.  My travels took me to Hawai'i, then to Salt Lake City and all the way on to New York City, where I watched my cousin Ta'u Pupua graduate from Juiliard in Opera Studies.

Coming from a city of over nine million people that never sleeps to our island of less than 800 at full capacity, an island which doesn't really "have" time (at least not in the linear marching sense of time), its amazing to me how easy it is for me to get used to being in the no time zone, to just the sun rising and setting, and the sea moving in and out with the daily tides.  The big belching, moving cities slide along on a pace that leaves me with more want than satisfaction.
Its been nice being back home.  Salesi occupied his time while I was gone doing a bit of this and that, in between Skype calls to me.  He put up an iron gate that we had found washed ashore on the liku side after Cyclone Wilma earlier this year, and carried just the two of us about half a mile back home.  I'm so grateful he held the fort down while I was away.

The Garden! Its growing so sweetly.  The sweet potatoes that Pops planted were waiting for me and we're still eating them this week, they are soo delicious, beyond words how great it is to eat roots after a diet of rice, bread & french fries in America.  The garden is great, aside from the fact that the neighbor kids ate up all the peanuts & the other neighbor's pigs broke into and ruined the whole crop of tapioca that Pops planted.  The other neighbor said that that neighbor intentionally let his pigs in for a good feed, and somehow I totally believe this story.  Well, what can ya do?  Salesi mended the fence really well, or so he assures me, and planted 100 more tapioca.  If Pops comes back in October with our potential partner who is interested in doing sustainable living here, they'll have the taro to eat (in case the tapioca isn't quite ready), plus all the rows of pele leaves are growing really well, and for the first time in a year and a half, we have our daily greens, Praise the Lord!  Our daily soup is now 110% improved with these nutritious & easy leaves, and the great thing is they are simply so easy to grow, and almost need no maintenance or care.  Nature is wonderful...
Next week, we have a couple from France, who found us on 'Couchsurfers' come for a week visit, and they've volunteered to help us paint the beach house in exchange for staying here on the Motuha Homestead land.  I just joined Couchsurfers a couple months ago and already have had six people want to come stay, but these two are the only ones whose timing fit ours, since I've been traveling.  It will be fun to host them, and after that we're going to be getting ready to move to Fiji, where I'll be working for the next three years in a teaching position at the University of the South Pacific.  But we plan to come back on summer holidays, and hope that Pops and Mayone come back too, to live in their little beach cottage by the sea! 

I'd put up some photo's but will have to do later, as the computer doesn't let me do so right now, even though I've tried for about two hours now.  I guess I'll close by saying that we're in the middle of painting Kali's House, the house we're living in right now.  Kali Pekipaki, my uncle, who built this house, recently passed away in Tongatapu, where he was buried.  I'm not sure how old he was but he wasn't well for the past couple years.  So we're painting the house, and wishing Kali a magnificent journey to Pulotu, the mythic disappearing island to the west, where the souls of the dead are said to gather & await our return.  Rest in Paradise, Uncle Kali.